I’ve been reading through the book of Hebrews over the last few days. This morning brought me through chapter 5, where it talks about Jesus being the perfect high priest. There is a section at the end of the chapter that I would like to focus on today. Verses 11-14:
Concerning him [Jesus] we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing. For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of righteousness, for he is an infant. But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
Dr. John MacArthur in his commentary in his daily reading plan has this to say regarding the text:
The Hebrews’ spiritual lethargy and slow response to gospel teaching prevented additional teaching at this time. This is a reminder that failure to appropriate the truth of the gospel produces stagnation in spiritual advancement and the inability to understand or assimilate additional teaching (John 16:12). Such a situation exists also among the Gentiles who have received revelatory truth (natural or general revelation) from God in the creation (Rom. 1:18–20). Rejection of that revelation results in a process of hardening (Rom. 1:21–32). The Hebrews had not only received the same general revelation, they had also received special revelation consisting of the Old Testament scriptures (Rom. 9:4), the Messiah Himself (Rom. 9:5), and the teaching of the apostles (2:3, 4). Until the Hebrews obeyed the revelation they had received and obtained eternal salvation (v. 8), additional teaching about the Messiah’s Melchizedekan priesthood would be of no profit to them.
This is such a crucial element in the life of the Christian. When truth is revealed to us, and we do not apply it, then we stop growing. One cannot expect to learn more when one does not act on what has already been shown or revealed to them. Have you been feeling stagnent in your walk with the Lord? Do you not remember the last time that you noticed growth in Christ? Perhaps it is time to pray and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you where you have been shown truth and have not obeyed or applied it. If there is such an area, confess your sin of disobedience, recieve the forgivness that will be extended to you, and put in to obedient practice the truth that you have already been given. God is so gracious to forgive us and He is long suffering in His patience with us. I am thankful for that! I was glad to be reminded of these steps again this morning, even though I have heard them before. It is good to reacquaint ourselves with the process we should enact when we find ourselves in a dead end. The Lord honors obedience, because it is through obedience that we demonstrate our love for Him. It is wonderful to know that we serve a God who is in the business of restoration and second chances. He has given us His word, and within it this reminder of how to move forward in our growth in Him.
If the Lord has granted you repentance and faith, thank Him today for this most gracious and awesome gift! Pray for those in your life who have rejected the grace of God’s general revelation through His creation and the gift of conscience. God is a God of mercy, and He has the power to soften hardened hearts.
Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)
Soli Deo Gloria!